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John E. Fogarty International Center (FIC)

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

John Makulowich

New Approaches in Global Health: Fogarty International Center Funds 16 Awards for "Framework Programs"

The Fogarty International Center (FIC), in partnership with the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders and the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, all part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), announced 16 awards for its new funding initiative, "Framework Programs in Global Health."

The awards support the development of innovative, multidisciplinary global health programs on campuses in the United States and in low- and middle-income nations. The combined program funding is about $1.7 million for the first year of the three-year awards and two-year planning grants. FIC and its partners will expend about $5 million over the next three years on these awards. Many of these programs also have significant matching funds from university resources.

"Tackling global health challenges most effectively requires new thinking and new ways to bring experts together from a range of fields," said Dr. Sharon Hrynkow, Acting Director of the Fogarty International Center, speaking on behalf of the program partners. "The Framework Programs will serve as a catalyst within and across universities to move global health forward farther and faster. By bringing leaders from business, social science, journalism, law and other fields together with experts in health, and by engaging tomorrow's leaders in the process, we foster an environment of innovation and forward momentum, all directed to improving global health."

The program is designed to build global health research capacity in the United States and abroad. Institutions will create administrative frameworks to tie multiple schools together on the topic of global health and to develop multidisciplinary global health curricula for undergraduates, graduates, and professional school students. Schools of business, law, journalism, engineering, social science, and others have teamed up with schools of public health and medicine under the program. Each program will build upon currently funded global health projects at the institution supported by NIH and other sponsors as well as encourage new training opportunities, collaborations and research.

Some universities formed partnerships with other institutions, both in the United States and overseas, to submit joint applications. For instance, the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) will partner with Gallaudet University to focus on issues of deafness and disabilities in the developing world, and with the Southern Institute of Appropriate Technology in Lineville, Alabama and the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa Environmental Institute to develop courses to address mitigation of environmental and health impacts of development projects. Nine UAB Schools and international collaborating institutions in four countries will also participate in the Program. They are the Schools of Public Health, Arts and Humanities, Business, Dentistry, Engineering, Health Related Professions, Medicine, Nursing, and Social and Behavioral Sciences, and Universities in Zambia, Ukraine, Jamaica, and Peru.

Massachusetts General Hospital, through the Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma, will partner with the University of Rome, La Sapienza, and the Istituto Superiore di Sanita (the Italian National Institute of Health) to develop a Masters degree program for policy makers, scientists, and clinicians caring for traumatized populations affected by man-made conflicts and natural disasters. They will work with 35 Ministries of Health from conflict and disaster affected countries in the design and implementation of this Program.

The Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia (UPCH) in Lima, Peru will enhance its Framework Program through well-established collaborative relationships with a network of partners in Peru, the United States, and England. The Schools of Medicine, Sciences and Philosophy, Veterinary Medicine and Zoology, Education, and Public Health will work together to establish a Global Health Framework at UPCH.

In addition to the development of curricula and new interdisciplinary degree programs, the awards will support a range of activities, including travel support for short-term experiences overseas, interdisciplinary symposia and workshops, the creation of international virtual learning communities, and faculty exchanges with international partners to encourage collaborative teaching and research.

Dr. Flora Katz, the Framework Program Director, noted: "To prepare for future challenges, today's students should learn to reach not only across disciplines, but across national borders. The Framework program's goals are well-aligned with the desire of many university presidents to introduce an international point of view into many of the traditional programs on campus."

The following 16 institutions received awards. Four of these awards will support 2-year planning grants for institutions in low- and middle-income countries to develop full Framework applications.

  • Baylor College of Medicine (TX)

  • Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) - Planning Grant

  • Fudan University School of Public Health (China) - Planning Grant

  • Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (MD)

  • Massachusetts General Hospital (MA)

  • Muhimbili University College of Health Sciences (Tanzania) - Planning Grant

  • Tufts University (MA)

  • Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia (Peru)

  • University of Alabama at Birmingham (AL)

  • University of California Los Angeles (CA)

  • University of Maryland at Baltimore (MD)

  • University of Michigan (MI)

  • University of North Carolina Chapel Hill (NC)

  • University of Virginia Charlottesville (VA)

  • University of Washington (WA)

  • University of Zimbabwe (Zimbabwe) - Planning Grant

FIC plans to reissue this solicitation with minor changes in fall 2005. A more complete description of each of these programs is at this URL: http://www.fic.nih.gov/programs/framework.html.

The Fogarty International Center, the international component of the NIH, addresses global health challenges through innovative and collaborative research and training programs and supports and advances the NIH mission through international partnerships. The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research is the nation's leading funder of research on oral, dental, and craniofacial health. NIDCD sponsors research and research training on normal and disordered processes of hearing, balance, smell, taste, voice, speech, and language. NIH is an agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) — The Nation's Medical Research Agency — includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services. It is the primary Federal agency for conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and it investigates the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit http://www.nih.gov.

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